If you've been following my blog for awhile, you've probably realized that I love to make themed recipes for every holiday that comes around, and Easter is no different!
I couldn't wait to share these Easter themed treats that I made last week because they actually turned out even more adorable than I had imagined!
I started developing these chicks and bunnies in my head when I was bored (ie. procrastinating) one day. I knew I wanted to make healthy-ish, bite-sized, no-bake treats and since I came up with different ideas for both chicks and bunnies, I decided to make both.
The chicks are a raw cookie base, like the energy balls that I'm used to making as snacks for myself. I went with a mixture of cashews, walnuts and oats with a dash of cinnamon and salt to get a cookie flavour. And while I would usually use dates in a raw cookie recipe to add sweetness and stickiness, I went with golden raisins this time so that the chicks would have a light, golden colour.
Once I shaped the cookie mixture into chicks, I rolled them in coconut to create a feather effect, and decorated them with raw cacao nibs and dried apricots to complete their features.
While they certainly weren't perfect (especially the one on the left!), they did end up looking like chubby little baby chicks, which was what I was going for!
The chicks themselves had just the right texture - chewy and crumbly, with a touch of sweetness from the golden raisins and a hint of coconut flavour. They did taste more on the healthy side rather than a dessert (especially since I forgot to add any extra sweetener), but as long as you're not expecting a sweet, rich treat than I think you'll love them as a snack!
These bunnies on the other hand, are definitely on the tasty dessert side of the scale! The filling is a mixture of creamy peanut butter with a bit of icing sugar for sweetness and rice puffs for crispiness. I also added a bit of coconut flour to help thicken the mixture and make it a bit easier to work with.
I wasn't really sure how to go about creating rabbit shapes from scratch, but managed to make shapes of different sizes from the peanut butter mixture and stuck them together to create something that (hopefully) resembles bunnies!
Once I had formed the bunnies, the last step was to coat them in melted white chocolate so that they would have a firm shell in a nice Eastery white colour (although as you can see, I didn't do a very clean job with the coating so bits of brown are still poking through!). Of course, you're welcome to use dark chocolate instead if that's your preference!
I admit I did feel a bit guilty when I first went to bite one of these little guy's heads off, but once I knew how delicious they tasted, all my guilt went away!
I loved the creamy peanut butter filling mixed with the white chocolate coating, and the rice puffs helped to lighten up the texture a bit so that it didn't taste as rich.
The only downside of the bunnies was the effort and time it took to make them, especially since you need to keep chilling the mixture in between steps. That was one reason why I only made small batches of each treat for myself, but feel free to double or triple the recipes below if you want to share these Easter treats with others!
Note: the recipes below include instructions for shaping into chicks or bunnies. If you don't have time to do this, you can still use the recipes to make simple ball shapes, like truffles, instead!
Raw Cookie Chicks
2 tbsp raw cashews
2 tbsp raw walnuts
2 tbsp rolled oats
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
2 tbsp golden raisins
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-1 tsp agave nectar (I forgot this and I still liked them - they just weren't very sweet)
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk
Dried apricot and raw cacao nibs for decorating
Place the first five ingredients in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the raisins, vanilla and agave and process again until it forms a sticky mixture.
Roll dough into 6 balls - 3 should be a slightly bigger size for the bodies and 3 should be smaller to form the heads. Carefully stick the heads onto the bodies, pressing together to make sure it sticks and reforming the balls so that they keep their shape. (see pictures below):
Place the coconut on a shallow plate. Brush the milk onto the outsides of the chicks and then roll chicks in the coconut, pressing in to help it stick.
Push two small cacao nibs into each head to make eyes, and two more cacao nibs into the bottom of each body to make feet. Cut small slices of dried apricot into triangle shapes and stick on to each head to make noses (Note: If the nose won't stick on its own, dot some peanut butter on the end first to help it stick).
Store in the fridge.
Makes 3 chicks
Peanut Butter Bunnies
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup rice puffs (I used kamut puffs and chopped them in half to make smaller pieces)
~2 oz white chocolate (can substitute vegan chocolate chips)
1/2 tsp coconut oil
Cacao nibs for eyes
In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, icing sugar, vanilla, salt, and coconut flour until smooth. Stir in the rice puffs. Chill mixture in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to firm up.
Roll mixture into shapes to make the bunnies: you will need 3 larger ovals for the bodies, 3 small round balls for the heads, 6 thin logs for the ears, 3 tiny balls for the tails, and 6 small ovals for the feet. I recommend forming the shapes in stages, chilling in between (as soon as the mixture gets too soft to work with, stick it back in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes before continuing).
Put the shapes together to make three bunnies: Lay the oval shaped body on the plate, stick the head onto one end, add the ears to the head, place the tail on the back end of the body, and stick the feet onto the front end of the body. Place bunnies in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up.
Meanwhile, heat the white chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Add the coconut oil and microwave again for 15 seconds. Stir until smooth and heat once more if it is not melted yet.
Use a spoon or small spatula to spread the melted white chocolate onto the bunnies. As soon as you coat one bunny, stick the cacao nibs on for the eyes (Note: if the chocolate hardens before you can add the eyes, just dip one side of the cacao nib into melted white chocolate and then stick it on the head). Let the coated bunnies firm up in the fridge.
Store in the fridge and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Makes 3 bunnies.